Belgium and Algeria advance from the final group matches in Brazil. The Red Devils edged out the last Asian team in the competition, Korea Republic with a 1-0 final score. Algeria only managed a draw against Russia but the lone point was enough for them to become the second team from Africa to make it to the round of 16 joining Nigeria from Group F.
Belgium were already on 6 points coming into the final match and the win against Korea gave them maximum points and the top of the group table. This campaign is Belgium's return to the World Cup stage after having failed to qualify for Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010. Korea desperately needed to win to have any hope of advancing with only one point to their name before the last group match. The loss against group winners Belgium left the Korean players devastated and spent. They were seen scattered on the pitch lying on their backs as if unable to muster the energy to even walk out. Several players were inconsolable and were in tears at the end of the match. Even the Belgians reached out and tried to console their defeated opponents.
Algeria also made history by qualifying into the knockout stage for the first time in only four appearances in the World Cup finals. In direct contrast to the Korean players and several miles away, the Algerians were the picture of absolute joy as they manage only a draw against Russia but still manage to advance to the round of 16. Russia scored early in the match on the 6th minute and it looked like it may have to go down to goal difference but a well placed header by Islam Slimani gave Algeria the point and left Russia to mourn with Korea on their way back home.
FIFA World Cup 2014 Brazil
Group H Match Results:
Belgium 1-0 Korea Republic
Algeria 1-1 Russia
(Slimani 60') (Kokorin 6')
Qualified: 1. Belgium, 2. Algeria